"It was right up there. The man was shooting from right just this side of that tree . . . that large tree, and that's where I saw the shot come from" -- Jean Hill in 1992 video Beyond JFK (above).
But that's not to say it was consistent.
Consider for example her claim to have seen a Grassy Knoll shooter. A little more than an hour after the shooting, on the afternoon of the assassination, she was interviewed by WBAP-TV. (See right. Hill is on the left in the video, and her friend Mary Moorman, who was standing next to Hill on the Dealey Plaza infield, is on the right).
Q. "Did you see the person who fired the . . ."Hill's testimony had substantial credibility problems on other issues too. The following chart summarizes key elements of her testimony, and evaluates each.
A. "No . . . I didn't see any person fire the weapon . . ."
Q. "You only heard it?"
A. "I only heard it."
|Her Latter-Day Claim||Was she saying this in 1963-64?||Evaluation|
|Was in Dealey Plaza at the time of the shooting||Yes||She is plainly visible in several films and still photos in her red raincoat.|
|She came to see "J.B. Marshall" [sic] her boyfriend, who was a motorcycle cop escorting the presidential limo||No||The officer she describes is not "J.B. Marshall," but rather B.J. Martin.|
|She stepped into Elm Street and shouted "Hey, Mr. President, look this way. We want to take your picture." Almost touched front fender of limo.||Sort of. Her Warren Commission testimony is that she was on the "edge" of the street.||Contradicted by photographic evidence, which shows her several feet from the curb and not moving.|
|Saw a little dog in the limo between John Kennedy and Jackie||Yes||An odd but doubtless sincere observation. May have mistaken bouquet of chrysanthemums in limo for small dog. Various photos show Jackie with flowers at Love Field, and in the limo.|
|Heard four to six shots||Yes||This places her among a tiny minority of witnesses who heard more than three shots, although there is no reason to doubt her sincerity.|
|She saw a shooter on the Grassy Knoll in the "Badgeman" position||No||Flatly contradicts her statement on the day of the assassination (see above).|
|The "whole back" of Kennedy's head exploded as he was hit||No||She told the Warren Commission that Kennedy's hair "rippled up" with no mention of the back of his head exploding.|
|Ran across Elm Street up the Grassy Knoll so quickly she failed to see Jackie climbing out onto trunk of presidential limo, and was almost hit by motorcycle of officer escorting limo.||Yes||Photos by Wilma Bond show her first sitting, and then standing in position on Dealey Plaza infield for over a minute after the shooting, long after other bystanders had run up the Knoll.|
|Saw Jack Ruby running from the corner of the Texas School Book Depository behind the Pergola toward the railroad yards||Yes||She doubtless saw a man running, but Jack Ruby was at the offices of the Dallas Morning News and could not have been in Dealey Plaza.|
|Claims to have been waylaid by Secret Service agents immediately after the assassination, intimidated, and told she must say there were only three shots fired.||No||Her affidavit of November 22nd, 1963, says that after the shooting she went with Mary Moorman and "Mr. Featherstone [sic] of the Times-Herald" to the press room of the Sheriff's office. Both Featherston and Moorman confirm that her original statement, rather than her latter-day claims, is true.|
|Her boyfriend, Officer "J.B. Marshall" [sic] told her that the presidential motorcade route was changed at the last minute||No||The "changed motorcade route" story is repeated in many books about the assassination, but in fact it did not happen.|
|"Marshall" told her that Lyndon Johnson "ducked down" before any shots were fired.||No||Johnson was forced down by Secret Service agent Rufus W. Youngblood who reacted immediately when the shooting started.|
|Her Warren Commission testimony, as reported in the Commission volumes, was very different from what she actually said.||No||Her published testimony is consistent with other statements she made in 1963-64, although not with her current claims. It also contains several elements that imply a conspiracy -- including four to six shots, hearing shots from the Knoll, and seeing Jack Ruby in Dealey Plaza.|
|There have been attempts on her life||No||No supporting evidence has been produced. If attempts she describes in her book were real, they were extremely lame|
|Sources: Anthony Summers, Conspiracy; pp. 28, 50-51, Jim Marrs, Crossfire, pp. 37-38, 322-324; Richard Trask, Pictures of the Pain, pp. 232-242; Bill Sloan with Jean Hill, The Last Dissenting Witness.|
Jean Hill (left) and her friend Mary Moorman (shooting polaroid photo) in the Zapruder film about a second before the head shot that killed Kennedy. Hill is not even looking at JFK.
At right, you can see an interview conducted by Bill Lord of ABC late in day on November 22.
Given that her original affidavit says she and Mary Moorman went with Mr. Featherstone [sic] to the press room in the Sheriff's office, we might want to know if Moorman and Jim Featherston can confirm her story.
I ran to Dealey Plaza, a few yards away, and this is where I first learned the president had been shot. I found two young women, Mary Moorman and Jean Lollis Hill, near the curb on Dealey Plaza. Both had been within a few feet of the spot where Kennedy was shot, and Mary Moorman had taken a Polaroid picture of Jackie Kennedy cradling the president's head in her arms....
I told Mrs. Moorman I wanted the picture for the Times Herald and she agreed. I then told both of them I would like for them to come with me to the courthouse pressroom so I could get their stories and both agreed. . . .
Before long, the pressroom became filled with other newsmen. Mrs. Hill told her story over and over again for television and radio. Each time, she would embellish it a bit until her version began to sound like Dodge City at high noon. She told of a man running up toward the now-famed grassy knoll pursued by other men she believed to be policemen. In the meantime, I had talked to other witnesses and at one point I told Mrs. Hill she shouldn't be saying some of the things she was telling television and radio reporters. I was merely trying to save her later embarrassment but she apparently attached intrigue to my warning.
Jean Hill died in November, 2000. Here is a highly sympathetic obituary from the JFK Lancer web site.
For a more extensive examination of Jean Hill, see Peter Whitmey's article "Jean Hill - The Lady in Red" on Clint Bradford's Attention to Details web site.
The video clips of the WBAP interview, and the ABC interview are courtesy of David Von Peinís audio and video archive.